Here we are, midsummer rising, coming to the height of summer expansion. This is a time of fire, light, brightness, and I am lucky enough to have experienced the super brightness of a Greek Island recently for my Qi-gong teacher training. The picture above is the sunrise.
Our Shen is a vital substance in Chinese medicine. It gives us the capacity to be present, aware, and able to respond appropriately. Shen is spacious, clear and luminous like sun light reflected on the sea. Shen is the purest form of awareness, consciousness itself. It’s nature is to radiate and shine out, and it resides in the Heart. It is both divine, and rooted in the physical body. When pure awareness, free from attachment, engages with the demands of physical existence then we behave appropriately to our situation..
My experience of Shen on Agistri (My Greek Island) Was heart blowingly beautiful. Like feeling the sun shining through my heart, allowing me to feel the clarity and warmth of that light, and giving me the capacity to connect with the world from that place. It felt very bright, and alive, and simply joyful. Rilke’s poem bellow seems to illustrate this most beautifully.
This is the potential of the Shen, when it is rooted, and secure. The Shen can also get scattered, which can leave us feeling confused, delirious, or just a bit “out there”. Shen dis-harmonies can also lead to anxiety, depression, unresponsiveness, and insomnia.
Shiatsu can help you root your Shen in your Body, Heart, Mind, helping any shifts in consciousness you may be struggling to keep up with in yourself. You can also learn how to help yourself with this. On Tuesday I will be teaching how to gather the Shen in my Qi-gong class at the Mansion.
Drop into Qi-gong classes with Jean Netherway and Kirsty Hurd-Thomas
Mansion Hall, (opposite the New library)
This week we will be exploring gathering the Shen.
Buddha in glory
Rainer Maria Rilke
Center of all centers, core of cores,
almond self enclosed and growing sweet-
all this universe, to the furthest stars
and beyond them is your flesh, your fruit.
Now you feel how nothing clings to you;
your vast shell reaches into endless space,
and there the rich, thick fluids rise and flow.
Illuminated in your infinite peace,
a billion stars go spinning through the night,
blazing high above your head.
But in you is the presence that
will be, when all the stars are dead.